A left-wing media outlet, the Daily Beast, published an article alleging that the White House press team asks reporters in advance what questions they would be asking during the press conference.
With remarkable bias, after presenting the facts the Daily Beast report attempts to justify the actions of Biden’s press team by claiming that it is “normal” practice for press secretaries to know in advance what questions reporters will ask in order to prepare and later the Beast elaborates with examples from the Obama and Bush administrations.
During her first appearance at the White House the current press secretary, Jen Psaki, promised to re-establish fluid communication with the press and said she had a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press,” and that they had “a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.”
However, wanting to know in advance the questions that journalists will submit seems to contradict the “free and independent press” part as the secretary could thus skip over those journalists asking compromising questions and only select those that reaffirm her statements.
In fact, despite her short time as press secretary, Psaki already has a personal brand of evading tough questions and simply responding that “I will circle back on that.”
Mainstream media shows its bias
Even before the new administration took the White House, mainstream media figures announced that they would have a more relaxed attitude toward the White House, after serving as political activists during former President Trump’s tenure.
“I don’t think the press should be trying to whip up the Biden presidency and turn it into must-see TV in a contrived way,” CNN’s Jim Acosta said in an Atlantic piece published in December. In the piece, CNN reporter Daniel Dale, too, stated that his job would “not be a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job to fact-check Biden” because “the simple reality is that Biden doesn’t lie nearly as often as Trump does.”
The same Daily Beast report ended its article by stating, “Despite concerns some reporters had with the Biden team’s behind-the-scenes queries, Psaki’s tenure thus far has received positive reviews from many media outlets,” the report noted.
“The Washington Post told readers to get ready for a “reality-grounded” press briefing, which Forbes has already described as “must-see TV.” The New York Times noted that she had extended an “olive branch” to reporters during her first briefing, which Vox described as a “breath of fresh air.”
For Psaki, however, journalists at press conferences don’t seem to be anything like what is described by “fake news.”
“When reporters are getting really loud, or they’re starting to ask crazy questions, I just slow down my pace, and I talk very quietly, and I treat them like I’m an orderly sometimes in an insane asylum,” Psaki said in an interview with NPR. “Not that they’re people in an insane asylum. But, sometimes, that’s all you have to do to cool yourself down inside.”